Take-Two Announces Closure of Rollerdrome and Kerbal Space Program 2 Studios

Kerbal Space Program 2, Rollerdrome, Tags: Take-Two

Take-Two Interactive, a prominent video game publisher, recently made the decision to close down two of its studios, Roll7 and Intercept Games. This news was revealed through documents obtained by Bloomberg. The closure of these studios comes as a disappointment to many fans and industry insiders.

Roll7, based in London, was established in 2008 by Tom Hegarty and Simon Bennett, who have been lifelong friends. The studio gained recognition for its impressive roster of games with wheel-based mechanics, including OlliOlli, OlliOlli World, and Rollerdrome. OlliOlli, released in 2014 for the PlayStation Vita, was a hit and garnered critical acclaim. OlliOlli World, released earlier this year, showcased the studio’s ability to create a flow-state-inducing skateboarding platformer with a charming art style. One of Roll7’s standout games of 2022 was Rollerdrome, a visually stunning third-person game combining rollerskating and gunplay, set in a dystopian sci-fi universe.

Over the years, Roll7 has received several prestigious awards, including honors from BAFTA and DICE. The studio’s name aptly reflects its expertise in creating incredibly smooth action games. Take-Two acquired Roll7 in November 2021, making it a subsidiary of Private Division, the company’s label for smaller publishing deals. However, according to the documents, Take-Two intends to close down Roll7 and provide severance packages to its employees.

Intercept Games, based in Seattle, is the studio responsible for developing Kerbal Space Program 2, a popular flight-simulation title that is still in early access on Steam. Take-Two established Intercept in 2020 specifically to manage the development of Kerbal Space Program 2, which has been regularly updated since its release in February 2023. While Take-Two has not yet confirmed the closure of Intercept Games, the company filed a notice in Washington outlining plans to lay off 70 employees and permanently close their place of business. Some developers from Intercept have also confirmed their recent departures. Take-Two stated that Private Division will continue to provide updates for Kerbal Space Program 2.

As one of the largest video game companies in the industry, Take-Two reported a revenue of $5.3 billion in the previous year. The company is the owner of highly successful franchises such as Grand Theft Auto and is the parent company of Rockstar Games, 2K, Private Division, Zynga, and Gearbox Software, the latter of which it acquired for $460 million in March. Grand Theft Auto VI, slated for release in 2025, is expected to generate significant profits for Take-Two.

In April, Take-Two announced plans to lay off approximately 5 percent of its workforce, amounting to around 600 employees, by the end of 2024. Additionally, the company canceled some projects that were currently in development. When news of the planned layoffs surfaced, Take-Two did not disclose the specific studios that would be affected. However, it is now clear that both Roll7 and Intercept Games are among those impacted by the company’s restructuring efforts. Private Division, a subsidiary of Take-Two, also faced layoffs in 2023.

The video game industry has seen a significant number of layoffs in recent years. In 2023 alone, approximately 10,500 workers were let go. So far in 2024, an estimated 9,400 employees have lost their jobs across various gaming companies. Prominent players in the industry, such as Sony, Microsoft, and Riot Games, have collectively laid off 3,300 employees this year. The financial struggles faced by Embracer Group have also had far-reaching consequences, resulting in the closure of numerous studios and displacing more than 1,400 workers.

The closure of Roll7 and Intercept Games is undoubtedly unfortunate for developers and fans alike. It serves as a reminder of the volatile nature of the video game industry, where even successful studios can face closure or downsizing. As the industry continues to evolve, it becomes essential for companies to adapt and find sustainable ways to navigate the challenges they encounter.

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